Ahmedabad, May 25
Akash Madhwal’s breathtaking bowling performance against Lucknow Super Giants in the Eliminator will fill Mumbai Indians with confidence as they take on defending champions Gujarat Titans in Qualifier 2 here tomorrow.
Mumbai, riding on the magical figures of 5/5 produced by Madhwal at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Wednesday night, knocked out Lucknow with an 81-run win.
The massive victory was a warning to the rivals that they could lift their game even in the absence of star pacers Jasprit Bumrah, Jofra Archer and batting mainstay Tilak Varma.
Mumbai pride themselves on thriving when the odds are stacked against them, something they have done throughout the season. Having finished last in the previous edition, Rohit Sharma’s team has managed to remain in contention for a sixth IPL title even with limited resources.
The likes of Cameron Green, Suryakumar Yadav and Tim David have responded well to the challenges and now form the backbone of the batting department, with the young Nehal Wadhera also making a huge impact.
It will be a stern test for Gujarat’s bowling attack, led by Mohammad Shami (26 wickets), to get the better of Mumbai’s batsmen.
Gujarat, who were outclassed in Qualifier 1 by Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings, will have one last chance to get themselves together in their bid to qualify for their second IPL final on the trot.
It will be imperative for the holders that their batting clicks in unison as Shubman Gill and Vijay Shankar have done most of the heavy lifting with the bat in the last few games.
Gill might have had an off-day against Chennai, but his two centuries in the closing stages of the league round make him the biggest threat for Mumbai. With 722 runs at an average of 55.53, the India batter has 421 runs and is just eight runs short of going past RCB’s Faf du Plessis to finish with most runs in this IPL. — PTI
Mumbai Indians peaking at right time, feels Green
Chennai: Cameron Green is finally justifying his Rs 17.5 crore billing just when Mumbai Indians needed him the most and is happy that his team is now a step away from the summit clash of the IPL after initial struggles. Having pummelled Lucknow Super Giants by 81 runs in the Eliminator, Mumbai face Gujarat Titans to decide Chennai Super Kings’ opposition in Sunday’s final. Green in fact said even skipper Rohit Sharma told newcomers in dressing room that the five-time champions are slow starters.
“Obviously, all experience that he (Rohit) has got for India and in IPL, he kind of knows. I think MI never won the first game of IPL and he tries to mention that to us,” Green said. “We obviously had a slow kind of start but you want to obviously start peaking at this time of the year, you don’t want to be playing good cricket and slowing down now but peaking at right time,” the giant Australian, who has scored 262 runs and taken six wickets, said. For him, the easiest job in the world is to bat alongside Suryakumar Yadav. “I think it’s probably the easiest job batting with him. You got to get him on strike, that’s the plan. And if you get a loose ball, you hit it.”
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